Payson High School chemistry students on May 12 hosted a “Chemistry Is Fun” exhibit at the Payson Public Library.
Advanced Placement chemistry teacher Meena Rustagi and 35 students demonstrated entertaining science experiments to the delight of an audience ranging in age from 6 to 60.
The students hoped to stimulate interest in science with demonstrations that included:
• Fun with Lava — Chelsea Frewin, Priya
Bhakta, and Marily
• Crazy Color Concoctions — Quinn Owens,
Lena Obrecht, Reid Wiles, Rachel McCown,
and Margarita Sullivan
• Bottle Rocket Launch — Madison Flake,
Miguel Mendoza, and Josh Wade
• Radiation and You + Weird Water — Jonathan
• Health Awareness — Savannah Grassel and
• Elephant Toothpaste — Mason Standifird,
Wesly Goldschmidt, Camron Chlarson
• Mentos and Fun — Alicia Bayless, Amber
Schlis, Jilian Conlon
• Gluepy Goop — Nisha Edwin, Urara Mikami
• Tie Dye — Emmy Ashby
• Marshmallow Fun — Samuel Grassel
The demonstrations held kids’ attention long enough for the science students to explain what made the thing go boom in the first place.
“The PHS Chemistry Event was among the best integration of practical physical science presentations with inspirational fun learning that I’ve seen in Payson,” said Dr. Alan Michels, who attended with his two sons. “The presenting high school students displayed good understanding of their projects and were able to create demonstrations that intrigued and inspired younger children and adults. Practical science with hands-on fun produces enlightened and motivated learners.”
Students’ demonstrations emphasized the role of science in everyday life.
“I was amazed to see how many of Mrs. Rustagi’s chemistry students were willing to give up part of their Saturday to share what they had learned with youngsters,” said PHS Vice Principal Anna VanZile. “In particular, I was impressed by Jonathon Savages’ presentation on detecting radiations. I never knew it was present in the glaze used on Fiesta ware, and as I watched him present, it’s the first time I’ve seen this bright but serious young man smile.
“One of the tastiest experiments was done by Richelle Shoults, Kayla Cranford, Kenneth Cerna, and Reynaldo Valenzuela. It taught the hungry kids how to make ice cream in a Ziploc baggy. After playing catch for 10 minutes, the group of kids ate the rewards of their efforts. All I could think of was ‘who doesn’t love ice cream?’”
Payson Elementary School teacher Karen Ormand brought with her daughters and son. “I really enjoyed the science experiments that chemistry students presented at the library,” she said. “I would love for them to come to my class next year or have them come for the whole school. My kids loved it too. They liked it so much that Ayden wants to make ice cream at his birthday. They loved the bubble over the dry ice. They also enjoyed the marshmallows getting bigger. It was a wonderful experience.”
Rustagi said, “As a science teacher, I believe in this idea as a viable and achievable way to bring more science outreach to children and families in Payson. Thanks to Payson Public Library for providing space for this event and special thanks to Katie Sanchez,Terry Roberts, Dan Alm and Judy Michel for their support and help.”